“I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t want to lose you […] You are taking my life”. With tears in her eyes, influencer Olga Buzova , 23.3 million followers on Instagram, tells in a video of seven desperate minutes the pain she feels, not for the Russian war in Ukraine, but for the loss of the audience on the famous social.
But she wasn’t the only one. There are many Russian users (famous and not) who have cried – literally – on Sunday in front of their mobile phones in view of the closure of Instagram in the country.
According to data from Statista, Instagram has around 60 million users in Russia, which represents 40% of the population. Roskomnadzor, media regulator in Russia, officially banned Instagram on Friday and gave users 48 hours to say hello to the platform. The decision came after the moves of Meta, who controls Instagram and Facebook, on the war in Ukraine and the information against Russia.
“I am writing this post now and I cry – wrote Buzova -. I didn’t think it could happen ”. The fear among many Russians is also the loss of thousands of dollars they receive to promote products and advertise. Influencers begged their followers to follow them on other alternative social networks.
“Instagram is not just images – wrote the Russian influencer Nastya Ivleeva together with the photo of a white dove -. It is also a source of work and opportunities to participate in good deeds “. The Washington Post newspaper points out that hundreds of Russian small and medium-sized businesses, from auto repair shops to tattoo shops and charities, are complaining about the closure of Instagram, an advertising medium for their business. In another post, Ivleeva – 19.8 million followers – wrote: “Six years of creativity, inspiration, motivation, discovery, success and achievement are flying straight to hell.”
But there are those who, even making a drama, find alternatives. Oksana Samoylova, a Russian influencer with 15.2 million followers on Instagram, said she stayed up until 3:30 am to post on Telegram, feeling much freer than she was on Instagram due to the platform’s rules: ” You will soon meet my alter ego. Indeed, it is not my alter ego, it is me in reality, you will know me much more closely, because there I can be more open ”. Since Friday, many Russian influencers have been publishing QR codes to give users access to Telegram, a platform born in Russia and which offers a (fake) idea of ​​freedom and security.
“Imagine that you have just been fired from your job and you cannot receive any salary, but at the same time you have to spend for your family, for your team of collaborators, and there is nothing to do”. With these wordsFashion influencer Karina Nigay with 2.9 million followers described her situation. A crisis that you however plan to resolve by betting on Russian brands and publishing on the “Russogram” platform.
A user from Ukraine replied to the post: “Think, these are your problems, but I hear the bombing sirens”.
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A post shared by Olga Buzowa (@ buzova86)

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